Retail Enrollment Centers

With the ACA’s introduction of open enrollment periods for health coverage programs, the time was right for innovative outreach models to reach new populations. Retail enrollment centers (also called “pop-up retail shops”) were one outreach and enrollment tool developed by states that has shown early promising results. In the first two years of ACA open enrollment periods, at least three state-based exchange (SBE) states (Connecticut, Colorado, and Kentucky) created retail enrollment centers. State officials interviewed reported a number of positive impacts from enrollment center experience, including increased visibility, improved outreach impact, a greater than average effectuation rate due to motivated and prepared consumers getting the help they need in a one-stop shop, and ensuring an accessible, central, community-based location to support enrollment. In this chart, we’ve captured information from three states that successfully used pop-up retail shops to inform other states that may be considering them for future years.

The states featured in this chart have demonstrated how to quickly build effective retail enrollment centers. As SBEs, the Connecticut, Colorado, and Kentucky exchanges were uniquely situated to reach target populations and try dynamic, innovative outreach methods to increase enrollment. SBEs have more centralized control over multiple aspects of outreach and enrollment processes than other states because the responsibility and authority for outreach is housed within the SBE, allowing the SBE the ability to tailor communications to the unique enrollment and assistance landscape, opportunities and challenges facing that specific state.

NASHP gathered information to create this chart through key informant interviews, email queries to state officials, and research supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Enrollment 2014 project, a one year project in which NASHP interviewed state leaders and stakeholders in 10 states with early success in enrollment and supported engagement of FFM state officials in Medicaid, CHIP, and Insurance/Exchange agencies. Although the information below reflects the step-by-step considerations of building pop-up shops for outreach and enrollment into health coverage programs by SBE agencies, other state agencies may also use this model to develop retail enrollment centers for other programs. Has your state also used a retail enrollment center approach? Please let us know – we welcome information from other states with similar experience.

(1) Connect for Health Colorado also worked with five other retail centers staffed by other organizations. This chart only tracks the center fully run and operated by state agency staff.

(2) ROI determined by dividing overall cost by number of people helped ($58,000/1,055=$55); however, this ROI does not reflect actual cost per person assisted given larger volume of individuals that were helped not tracked in the system.

(3) Estimated based on $276 total annual costs divided by number of individuals enrolled or assisted. Note that this does not take into account the staff time invested in developing and supporting the center.

(4) Added consumer representative role 1 month after launch, upon realizing consumers needed help at the beginning of the process to route them to the right assisters for help.